May 20, 2022

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Half a million Ukrainians deported to Russia?  "Ring the alarm bells"

Half a million Ukrainians deported to Russia? “Ring the alarm bells”

Cookies and iced tea were waiting for Mila Panchenko when she arrived at the refugee shelter. Nevertheless, the Ukrainian preferred to thank her for her room with two beds, a TV and a small refrigerator in a Russian sanatorium.

“I want to go back to Ukraine very badly.” But Panchenko, 53, had no other choice when Chechen soldiers released her from a shelter in Mariupol a month ago. She told Reuters news agency that traveling to Russia was the only option without food, water or safe haven. She was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Italy thanks to her acquaintance.

About 500,000 Ukrainians have ended up in Russia since the beginning of the war, and the warring parties are more or less in agreement. Russia calls them a humanitarian mission, while Ukraine calls them outright kidnappings. President Zelensky talks about the deportations and a member of parliament called on the Red Cross to track down the missing citizens of Russia.

“It’s very difficult to get an insight into what exactly is going on, but the stories are ringing alarm bells,” says Russian expert Hubert Smits. “Ukraine refers to the deportations in the Soviet Union and ‘sand camps’ during the Chechen war and this connection is understandable.”

forced eviction

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Talking about Consistent reports from various sources on forced evictions. The organization describes this as a war crime if there is no military necessity for it. The Red Cross says it has no first-hand information, but describes the stories as “a concern”.

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Ukrainian authorities say Russia has once again set up “liquidation camps” where civilians are examined. Panchenko says her photos were taken and her fingerprints were taken. It has also been extensively questioned.

It sums up: “They asked if we had any relations with the Ukrainian army and if we knew anyone from the Azov Battalion.” They were also asked how the Russian minority in Ukraine is treated. Other refugees were asked about troop movements and relatives left behind.

unknown refugee Graty news site How her phone was taken. “They plugged it into a computer for 20 minutes and I saw them download my contacts.” Other refugees say individuals with national tattoos, such as the coat of arms of Ukraine, have been particularly distinguished.